UNITED STATES─It is the question that almost all parents including myself want answers to: will it be safe to send our kids back to school when fall arrives? If you were to ask me this question 2 months ago, I would argue without a doubt it should not be a problem. Ask me that same question today and I honestly cannot give you an answer. Why? Well, not only are we in the middle of a pandemic, but there is an issue of your child’s wellbeing.

Trust me it’s time for the kids to go back to school, the problem is as a parent, do you feel comfortable and safe with your child being around a bunch of kids and adults in the middle of a pandemic with a deadly virus. That is a question that most parents will say no to because when you become a parent it is your job to protect your child at all costs, and I mean that literally.

A parent will always do what is best for their child even if the world does not fully agree with the decision that you’re making. The fact that kids literally lost half of the school year is bad people. I mean can you imagine their fragile little minds. Not being instructed, not utilizing their brains and skills they have learned? It’s not good America, but I am NOT going to sit here and say it is. Yes, some parents have home schooled their children, but let’s be honest the vast majority of parents have not. Why?

Being a parent is one thing, but having to take on the task of teaching them too, that is not an easy thing to say the least. Parents already have enough to deal with and to tact that on schooling is a major ask. Kids need to be in the classroom, but until we figure out how this virus works, we have to tread carefully. Rather it be shortening the school week, utilizing virtual zoom classrooms, hybrid learning there are options in place, but we cannot go back to the norm.

I mean when you have college campuses cancelling classes, and trust me the universities NEVER want to cancel classes you know you have an issue that cannot be ignored. I mean I recall a lecture class being like gold, but with the advancement of technology most lecture classes can now be taught online and even those smaller classes that derived on personal interaction and in-depth theory are starting to transition online. Yes, I know this refers directly to high school and college students more, but this does not mean it cannot work with youngsters.

It is NOT going to be an easy task to teach a child at home because they easily get distracted, but that is where the parent has to step in to acknowledge the problem to fix it. The mind is functioning at high-speed when kids are little. It wants to process information and they need to process information people. The notion of kids going another 6 months or a year without any instruction just is not feasible and I will not accept it.

However, we cannot just place 30 plus kids in a classroom with one instructor, maintain social distancing and expect kids to wear masks all day. It is not going to happen, a 6 or 7 year-old is not going to wear that mask all day without wanting to take it off, even though they know they should not be doing it. I mean heck my niece, even though she knows she has to wear that mask in public, with every chance she gets attempts to take it off, even though she has been warned countless times not to.

I think kids want to go back to school more than the parents and teachers even know. However, what I’m hearing is that more teachers and parents are AFRAID of returning to school. The teachers have no idea how to keep things safe not just for their students, but for themselves. Parents are hesitant about their child’s safety, and you can understand why some are refusing to utilize daycare or sending their child or children back to school even though they need to because they have no babysitter or they have to get back to work.

Some businesses are back in business, but many are not and at some point they will be returning to normal operations when things go back to what we expect. We don’t know fully when that may unfold, but it will. Right now this entire kids have to go back to school at all costs, no matter what is not a suitable solution. A plan HAS TO BE IN PLACE to keep all parties safe. Let’s talk about the precautions and plans in place to get students back to school safely and not just thinking they’re going to school no matter what. That’s not smart people.

Written By Zoe Mitchell